David is a 24 year old Deaf man from London, who uses sign language to communicate. He has mild autism.
David was referred to SignHealth’s Outreach service because he was due to move into a mainstream care home where there were no other sign language users.
SignHealth helped the care home understand David’s specific needs as a Deaf sign language user – not least his need for safety equipment designed for deaf people. They installed a flashing fire-alarm system in the building, and vibrating and flashing alarms in his flat to keep him safe day and night.
Getting the work done took four months, because the Housing Association and local Council were responsible for different aspects and had to integrate the alarms into their own systems. SignHealth helped David cope with this difficult period of waiting and change, and we were there to support him when he moved in after the the safety features were finally in place.
During that time David had been sleeping on his mother’s sofa, because she had moved to a smaller house to be closer to the care home that David would be living in.
With SignHealth’s support David has now settled in extremely well at the care home. Our workers are helping him learn how to live more independently by developing his basic living skills, managing money, organising himself, budgeting, cooking, cleaning and washing his clothes. We also help him experience activities he would not yet have the confidence or skills to do by himself, such as visiting parks and supermarkets (which he loves!).
David is developing his own hobbies and interests, mainly around computing and mobile devices, which he finds fascinating. These open up a whole new world of social contact through Deaf social media which allow for conversations in sign language.
With our help David is improving his own life.
We’ve made up the name David, to protect the identity of the young man we support. All the other details in his story are unchanged.